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Assessing the relationship between hypospadias risk and parental occupational exposure to potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals


Objective The association between periconceptional parental exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and hypospadias remains inconclusive and controversial. Therefore, we conducted a hospital-based retrospective study to assess the relationship between hypospadias risk and parental occupational exposure to potential EDCs.

Methods Incident cases (n=73) were boys between 0 and 14 years diagnosed with hypospadias with no micropenis or cryptorchidism. Controls (n=146) were an age-matched group of boys without any congenital malformations, inguinal hernia, nephrological, urological and genital disorders. Their selection was independent of exposures to EDCs. Data on parental occupation and sociodemographic variables were collected using a structured questionnaire. We evaluated parental occupational exposures using a previously validated job-exposure matrix (JEM) for EDCs.

Results In our case–control study, 30.1% of all pregnancies had likely exposure to potential EDCs. The most prevalent occupations conferring possible exposure were related to activities on farms. Maternal and paternal occupational exposure to potential EDCs significantly increased the risk of mild hypospadias than moderate-to-severe hypospadias (OR=6.55 vs OR=4.63). Among various categories, parental occupational exposure to pesticides was associated with at least a twofold increased risk of hypospadias. Maternal EDC exposure during the first trimester significantly increased the risk of bearing a hypospadiac child (OR=4.72 (95% CI 2.10 to 10.60)).

Conclusion This study suggests that EDCs are a risk factor for hypospadias through occupational exposure during fetal life.

  • Pediatrics
  • Occupational Health
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Urogenital System

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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